Pinder, Ferguson-McKenzie Light it up; Ingraham, Seymour, Miller Set Jr Records
Demetrius Pinder has been hailed as the new king of the 400 in the Bahamas, taking over that crown that has been long held by Chris Brown. The passing of the torch may be completed with 22-year-old Pinder beating out Brown, 11 years his elder, in the finals of the Senior Mens' 200 Meter Dash on Saturday night at Freeport Stadium.
After all running fairly conservative times in the Prelims the day before, all bets were off on Saturday. Especially since the silver medal in the 4x400 at the 2008 Olympics the 400 Meter Dash become the premier event for the men. And it has been the country's most successful. Living up to that big billing, five guys dipped under the CAC standard with Pinder hitting the A Standard and Ramon Miller (an up-and-coming star in his own right) hit the B Standard.
Pinder won his national championship easily with a time of 44.78 that was over .5 second better than Miller could muster. The incumbend legend, Brown, held strong for the bronze witha 45.73 that followed a 46.04 (second seed) out of the prelims. Andrae Wiliams and LaToy Williams were the other two to hit the CAC times.
The living legend on the women's side is 35-year-old Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie who is still clearly at the top of her game with two national championships on the weekend. On Friday she defeated Sheniqua Ferguson 11.34 to 11.38 into a slight negative wind... both times under the IAAF B Standard. Then on Saturday Ferguson-McKenzie came back and fought off a very stacked field in the Senior Women's 200.
Debbie had youngsters Niva Smith (21) and Kai Selvon (19 from Trinidad and Tobago) breathing down her neck and they were just .04 and .05 behind her winning time of 23.09. Those three all made the B standard. Anthonique Strachan, who many view as the future world-stage star, competed up in the senior division (just 18) and finished in a somewhat distant fourth place with 23.58. All of these times in this star-studded 200 meter race were into a strong -2.3 headwind.
- Ryan Ingraham was the only competitor in the junior men high jump, but that didin't stop him from winning in a national junior record 7-3.75! That qualifies him for the Pan Am standard.
- In the Jr. Women 400 Hurdles, Katrina Seymour nailed down her Pan Am ticket with a 57.82 National Junior Record!
- Michael Mathieu has decided that he is going to start focusing on the 200 for now, while Pinder does his thing in the 400. That has worked out well for him so far and this weekend was no exception. After hitting a fast 20.68 in the prelims, he came back to win in 20.66 that puts him under the B Standard. Both races were almost a second better than Alfred Higg's 21.57/21.58 finishes. Mathieu also provided a leg in the 4x4 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
- The star-studded Bahamas Mens 4x400 Relay Team beat out Trinidad and Tobago 3:02.56 (IAAF A) to 3:04.31. Williams, Williams, Mathieu and Pinder contributed their legs ot the effort.
- 17-year-old Shaunae Miller raced up against the seniors and shined with a big 51.85 personal best that met the IAAF B and lowered her own national junior record (52.45) by over half a second! Cache Amrbrister finished in a second and a half back in 53.45, getting under the CAC qualifying cutoff.
Others that met IAAF, CAC, or Pan Am Standards:
- Under 20 Men 1500 Meter Run - James Audley Carey 4:00.96 (Pan Am)
- Under 20 Women 100 Meter Dash - V'Alonee Robinson 11.78, Devynne Charlton 11.89 (just 16 years old!) Pan Am
- Under 20 Men 100 Meter Dash - Trevorvano Mackey 10.45, Shavez Hart 10.51 (Pan Am)
- Senior Men High Jump - Donald Thomas 7-7.25 (IAAF A), Trevor Barry 7-6 (IAAF B)
- Senior Women Long Jump - Bianca Stuard 20-5.75 (CAC)
- Senior Women 4x100 Relay - Trinidad and Tobago just get by The Bahamas "A" Team 43.40 to 43.62, but both teams got their goal of IAAF A Standard.
- Under 20 Men 400 Hurdles - Nejmi Burnside finished in second place 52.82 (Pan Am standard) behind Texan Keyunta Hayes, who also won the Jr. 110 Hurdles.
- Senior Men 400 Hurdles - Jeffery Gibson hit a new huge PR of 50.82 to get under C Standard. Nathan Arnett finished in second in 50.84 (CAC)
- Under 20 Men 800 Meter Run - James Audley Carey came back from his 1500 the day before and hit a three second PR 1:52.29 his his breakthrough race that qualified for Pan Am standard. Andre Colebrook was next in 1:53.97, which is also under the standard.
- Under 20 Men 400 Meter Dash - Andre Wells 46.87 (Pan Am)